Open letter to the management at Joliet Regional Airport

Wow, what a warm welcome on this cold day. On arrival, I was ready to head to the office, introduce myself and do paperwork before having to restart and head to the hanger…

Actually, pause that.

Here’s what happened when I tried to get a tie-down at KDPA last summer.

When I showed up, they were unable to put me on the ramp and instead made me park in transient parking. This meant reorganizing my ride and requiring the people I was meeting to drive an extra 20 minutes through road construction. When I asked if I could just go ahead and park on the ramp since that was where I was going to end up anyway I was told clearly no, with an additional snide remark about why anyone would want to do that.

I called three times to arrange parking before someone got back to me. When she finally did get back to me I had to sign a contract that had a bunch of provisions I didn’t like. They demanded a credit card on file instead of payment by check.

It *always* takes 15-30 minutes to get a truck anywhere. Doesn’t matter what you need, they consistently take forever to provide it and never provide any feedback or guidance as to what’s going on.

Ok, back to today.

It was a windy, bumpy flight and there was a healthy crosswind on 31. I manage to land and the instant I’m past the hold short line someone comes on the radio asking if I need fuel or if I’m going straight to my hanger. Very impressive! Nice to be recognized as a hanger renter *even though it was my first time there*.

I reply that I don’t need fuel and have no idea where my hanger is.

“Stay where you are a moment, we’ll send the follow-me truck for you”.

We get to the hanger and the, very nice, lineman shows me how the hanger door works. I happen to know this already having used this kind of latching mechanism before. Because I’m familiar with this latch I know that it can break doors and am pleasantly surprised at the attention to detail in showing me the “trick” to avoid damage.

While I’m unpacking I realize I left the extension cord for my engine heater at the farm in Wisconsin. The guys dig one up for me to borrow and give me a ride back out to plug it in.

This is all on top of your offer the other day to let me put the plane in the heated hanger so we could wash and wax it.

Oh, and you’re much less expensive than KDPA, which is why you got the chance to earn my business to begin with.

All in all, it was a great first experience. I think Joliet should annex KDPA and you guys should run it!

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